Santa Cruz de la Palma - the architectural and cultural wealth of the island's capital and its cosy atmosphere invite you to explore each of its squares and streets in peace. If you drive into Santa Cruz by car, you should park your car at the large car park towards the port and enter the city via the busy Plaza de la Constitución. Nevertheless, those in a hurry can visit everything important in a half day tour.
Places and churches in Santa Cruz
TThe Plaza de España, the heart of the city, exudes a unique charm with its slender palm trees, staircases and beautiful fountains. On its sides are the Renaissance buildings of the Church of the Redeemer (Iglesia El Salvador, inside with the precious (Mudejar coffered ceiling) and the Town Hall (Casas Consistoriales). Also charming is the small Placeta Borrero with royal palms, fountains, pretty houses and a trendy café. There are plenty of restaurants and bars. For the nightlife, Los Llanos is the better address. At the Plaza de España and at the Placeta Borrero (Galeria Crystal, run by the island artist Luís Morera) there are art exhibitions to visit.
Palaces and wooden balconies in Santa Cruz
Along the former Calle Real, the main artery of the city, today Calle O'Daly (extension: Calle Pérez de Brito), many magnificent palaces are preserved: The houses Salazar, Sotomayor, and Pinto are worth seeing. Along the Avenida Marítima promenade, pretty two-story houses with wooden balconies (Casas de los balcones) are displayed.
A faithful replica of the Santa Maria, Columbus' flagship, can be seen as a maritime museum ("Museo Naval") in the Plaza de Alameda. The churches of San Francisco and Santo Domingo are home to precious Flemish sculptures, woodcarvings, and paintings. The Santo Domingo collection is said to be the most important in the Canary Islands. Even a theatre, the Teátro Chico near the market hall, belongs to the capital of La Palma.
La Palmas Fortress and Museum
The fortress of Santa Catalina (Castillo de la Luz) on Avenida Marítima can only be visited from the outside. In the museum of the island La Palma, housed in the old Franciscan monastery, exhibits from archaeology, ethnography, and paintings are shown. The 19th-century market halls are open on weekdays for fresh produce, handicrafts, and local specialties.
Suburbs of Santa Cruz de la Palma
The suburbs of Mirca, Veloco, the sanctuary of Las Nieves (four kilometers above Santa Cruz) and La Dehesa, as well as the "Mirador de la Concepción" are also worth a visit. Santa Cruz is particularly well worth a visit during Carnival, and especially on Shrove Monday, when Los Indianos make the streets unsafe with white powder. Every five years, the next time in 2017, the "Virgen de las Nieves" is carried down from the suburb of the same name above the city to the capital in a splendid procession at the festival of the Bajada. The "Dance of the Dwarves" on this occasion is unique.